LAUREL, Miss. – Sanderson Farms, Inc. expanded and extended its stock repurchase program to April 23, 2018. The company plans to repurchase up to 1 million shares of Sanderson common stock in open market transaction or in negotiated purchases.

“As in the past, we plan to use our stock repurchase program to offset shares issued through our equity compensation programs,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO. “The shares repurchased in March, when added to those shares previously repurchased under the program, fully offset shares of stock issued through our compensation programs since 2005. We believe this program represents a good use of corporate funds while minimizing potential dilution related to our equity compensation programs.”

The company's board of directors originally approved the program in 2009, and later approved extensions in February 2012 and February 2014. Sanderson has repurchased 1,482,099 shares under the stock repurchase program since 2009, including 700,003 shares repurchased in March of this year.

Extending the program to April 23, 2018 increases the number of shares the company may repurchase under the program by an additional 700,003 shares.

Sanderson Farms also announced a quarterly dividend of 22 cents per share payable on May 19.